New Bill Affects Gender and Sex On Driver's Licenses, Health Insurance for De-transitioning Adults

New Bill Affects Gender and Sex On Driver's Licenses, Health Insurance for De-transitioning Adults

A bill affecting driver's licenses and health coverage for adults de-transitioning from sex reassignment procedures faced bitter backlash

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
January 22, 2024

TALLAHASSEE, FL—A Florida bill expanding health insurance coverage to people de-transitioning from sex reassignment procedures and changing requirements on licenses from "gender" to "sex" passed down party lines Monday afternoon.

In a lengthy public testimony and debate, Democrats opposed the bill for its alleged dangerous impact on transgender communities.

"I call this the compassion and clarity bill," the bill's sponsor Rep. Doug Bankson (R), said in the House Select Committee on Health Innovation. "If someone chooses to go down the pathway of transition surgery, they also need to make sure that [health insurance companies] will cover the de-transition pathway."

HB 1639 would require health insurance companies already providing coverage for sex reassignment procedures to also cover the de-transitioning process, including medical, pharmaceutical, and mental health therapies. The bill goes on, changing driver's license requirements from stating "gender" to stating "sex".

"When it comes to a governmental document, the purpose of that is not for personal expression," Rep. Bankson said, explaining the terminology change. "I can't cut it up or change it because it is a government document...We want something that is clearly understood, that is tied to a scientific understanding of birth sex."

Opponents of the bill included Democratic Reps and LGBTQ members from groups like Women's Voices of Southwest Florida and Equality Florida.

"The only reason that you would all vote yes for a bill like this is so you could help create a registry of trans and intersex people in this state so you have a list to work from when you finally decide to go full 'mask-off' and try to eradicate us all," An intersex and transgender man named Spike, a member of Women's Voices of Southwest Florida, said during public testimony. Spike referred to the bill's provision to require birth sex on all driver's licenses.

"The people that are facing the challenges that you are alluding to came up here and said we don't want this," Democratic Rep. Michele Rayner said, following the bill sponsor's admission that no one had approached him leading up to the bill's creation, "I'm not clear on when we are going to start listening to the people that are coming time and again telling us what they want, what they need, and what they don't want."

"I cannot abide by the attacks on the transgender and the non-binary communities," She added.

Again, the bill passed down party lines and will head to the House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee. There is no Senate companion bill yet.

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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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